How variable-speed HVAC systems work and why are they more efficient

Are you frustrated with your utility bills? Electricity prices have been slowly increasing for homeowners throughout the country. Thankfully, there are a number of modern HVAC technologies that can reduce your energy usage. In this article, we’ll review variable-speed HVAC systems. These energy-efficient air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces are capable of operating at different speeds, allowing them to “slow down” to maintain the temperature in your home.

Allbritten is your team for new air conditioners and furnaces here in Fresno and the Central Valley. To get a free in-home estimate on a new variable-speed HVAC system for your home, call us today.

The difference between standard and variable-speed technology

Standard air conditioners and furnaces are connected to your thermostat. When your thermostat sends a signal, your AC turns on at 100% until your home reaches the desired temperature. This all-or-nothing approach uses more energy than a variable-speed alternative.

A variable-speed HVAC system—such as this heat pump—can save you hundreds on your energy bills.

A variable-speed HVAC system—such as this heat pump—can save you hundreds on your energy bills.

Short cycling is a common issue with the old, single-speed AC units. This can be caused by choosing an improper AC unit for your home. The result is a unit that continues to quickly turn on and off and use significant amounts of electricity.

How variable-speed fan motors and compressors work

A variable system precisely controls the compressor and fan motor to create more energy-efficient cooling. Variable compressors can cycle between 30% and 100% capacity to keep your home cool without expending additional energy.

Similarly, fan motors that are adjustable use various speeds to reduce energy usage. Installing a variable-speed fan motor allows your blower to improve the efficiency of both your AC and your furnace.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy found that even at half speed a variable-speed motor uses 75% less power than a single-stage alternative. Even with a speed reduction, your new fan can still reach your ideal indoor temperature.

Benefits of a variable-speed HVAC system

At Allbritten, we’ve installed variable-speed HVAC systems from Carrier throughout Fresno and the surrounding area. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy by switching to a variable-speed system.

  • The most obvious benefit will be reduced energy costs. The peak energy usage of older HVAC systems is the moment it turns on. Turning a blower and compressor on at full power uses significant amounts of electricity.
  • Variable-speed systems, however, don’t start immediately at 100%. By building up to full power, these systems save you significant amounts on your electricity bill.
  • A variable system also prevents excess moisture in the air. If your air conditioner is constantly running, you may need to use a dehumidifier. A variable fan motor can balance the humidity and temperature in your home and avoid the use of a dehumidifier.
  • Finally, a lower speed fan causes your AC system to operate for longer periods. This increases the amount of time that your indoor air is filtered through your system. If you’re sensitive to pollen, dander, or other allergens, this increased filtration can reduce the effects of allergens in your home.
  • Low-speed operation reduces stress and strain on your fan motor and compressor. While a compressor typically has a long service life, a fan motor can wear out with constant use at 100% power. Enjoy an extended motor lifetime with your variable-speed system.

Contact Allbritten for more information

Contact us at Allbritten today to discover how you can enjoy variable-speed heating and cooling in Fresno, CA. Work with our leading HVAC company to find the best model for your home and enjoy hassle-free installation from our friendly team.